The 27-year-old man from Paphos charged in the death of a Bulgarian woman who was allegedly mauled by his Rottweilers in February this year in a remote field has until May 4o to respond the charges, the court said on Wednesday.
The court ordered the suspect to be detained until then. He has been charged with manslaughter and causing death through negligence.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the defence lawyer said he had sent three letters to the prosecutor’s office, on March 23, March 28, and April 11, asking for additional testimonial material but had received no answer so far. He needed to study the material before the trial began, he told the court.
The prosecuting attorney told the court he had received the letters but had not had time to answer them due to being abroad. He said he had handed over some of the material on Wednesday to the defence and that the remainder would be sent on within two weeks.
In March, the court decided to send the 27-year-old man to a criminal trial.
The victim, Petruna Nikolova, was found close to death in a field in Yeroskipou, Paphos, on February 22 and died on the way to hospital.
Police initially arrested two people – the 27-year-old and his father, 54. They are the owners of nearby premises where a number of dogs, including at least five Rottweilers, were being kept.
The 27-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and his father on suspicion of acting as an accessory after the fact. The father has since been released without being charged after his remand expired.
Authorities discovered a dead Rottweiler buried in a field in the village of Anarita, not far from Yeroskipou. An autopsy revealed the animal had gunshot wounds on its head – reinforcing suspicions that this may be one of the two Rottweilers that went missing from the suspects’ dog cage after Nikolova’s death – and thus that the suspects had tried to destroy evidence.
A pathologist from Greece was flown in to carry out a post-mortem – the fifth one – on Nikolova’s body due to the conflicting results from the previous four autopsies.
Greek pathologist Hara Spiliopoulou and UK-based Cypriot doctor Andreas Marnerides carried out the fifth autopsy. Their findings were not made public but reports claimed the final autopsy confirmed that she was killed by dogs.
Nikolova arrived in Cyprus a few days before her death with her partner Ivan Ivanov and was staying in Yeroskipou. She was out searching for work when she was found seriously injured in a potato field and died on her way to the hospital before being able to tell anyone what had happened.